Edinburgh Uni.............0

South Challenge Cup

SAUCHIE produced an excellent performance as they knocked Lowland League Edinburgh University out of the South Challenge Cup.

Despite being the underdogs on paper, the Reds blew away their opponents with a goal glut early in the second half.

A brace from Mark Finlayson and strikes from Terry Hewitt and David Cross sealed Iain Diack’s side’s place in the quarter finals.

It was a bit of a makeshift side for the Reds, but they started the game with the usual intent and forced Edinburgh into giving up a corner inside the opening five minutes. Hewitt rose well and was unlucky to nod it just past the far post.

It was proving to be a frantic match with the Lowland League side hitting back with a chance of their own when Abdul Yusaf was inches away from getting on a dangerous ball flashed across Cameron Cairney’s goal.

As part of the Sauchie reshuffle, Finlayson found himself playing on the left wing and the former Falkirk man forced Matthew Mackie into a flying save with a lovely chip from the edge of the box on the quarter of the hour mark.

Sauchie’s tails were suddenly up and Darren Petrie was next to test the keeper, who denied him twice with his feet as the Reds upped the ante.

The chances kept on coming and it required a brave block from Stewart Houston to prevent Yusaf’s goal bound shot finding the net after Sauchie failed to clear a corner.

The capital club’s game plan was clearly to expose the space left in behind by the Reds high line as they tried to break from back-to-front whenever they had the ball.

Mackie was forced into action yet again as the match neared 40 minutes, as he sprung to his left to tip Finlayson’s curling effort round the post; it was a stunning save and not his first.

It seemed like it was to going to take something special to find a way past the Edinburgh keeper. But, in the end, it didn’t. A corner broke to Finlayson on the edge of the box and his drive deflected past Mackie to hand Sauchie a deserved lead on the stroke of half time.

Whatever Edinburgh’s manager had said at half time was thrown out of the window after only two minutes as the Reds made it two. Again, it came from a corner that the visitor’s failed to clear and this time it was Cross who thumped it home.

Sauchie soon killed off the game as a contest when Finlayson made it three when he tapped in Sharp’s dangerous ball across the face. The winger had looked suspiciously offside, but the goal stood and the Reds had breathing space.

Edinburgh, for a team seventh in the Lowland League, were all over the place – but that was a reflection on Sauchie’s excellence.

Sauchie’s superiority was rammed home with only fifteen minutes left when Hewitt pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard-box and made it four.

Diack used the opportunity to introduce Craig Donaldson and Darren Cummings from the bench for their first minutes since injury.

After the goal glut, the game died down as Sauchie settled for what they had. Finlayson had a chance to secure his hat trick and Ryan Millar put another effort past the post, but it was clear the game was over as a contest.

It really had been men against boys.